One reason why I love the Internet so much is that it is easier than ever to work from home. I started my multi-million dollar business from my dorm room. And, with few exceptions, I have always worked from home building it up.
The advantages are obvious:
1. You don’t have to waste time commuting.
2. You can control your environment and have more flexibility.
These things should boost your productivity, but for many people they do not.
The reason is that they fall into one of three traps. I’m going to share those three traps with you, along with some ways to avoid falling into them.
1. Treating Your Space Like A Home Rather Than An Office
Yes, you are working from home, but you will be the most productive when you treat it like an office. Ideally, you should have a part of your home that you use for work and nothing else. If that is not available to you, then you need to be proactive about simulating an office environment.
This means you should NOT have the television on while you are working!
2. Your Family/Roommates
The people who live with you hopefully care about your well-being. But sometimes they forget that you are actually working from home, not just goofing around on your computer.
It is important that you set clear boundaries about when you can and cannot be disturbed while you work.
3. No Accountability
In general, when you work from home, the only thing your boss/team members/clients care about is whether you deliver quality work to them. You don’t have a boss looking over your shoulder or have coworkers walking into your cubicle while you play Words With Friends.
This can be a problem, because when you are your own boss, it is easy to let yourself off the hook. “I want to go for a walk. I’ll finish this work later.” That attitude is a recipe for disaster.
You need to be your OWN boss!
You need to set clear expectations for yourself and punish yourself when you do not meet those expectations, just like a boss would.
These three traps are real, and if you are not aware of them, it is easy to fall into them. You need to be proactive and create the conditions that allow you to be even more productive working at home than you would in an office.